In jewelry, you often hear about the largest gemstone, or the most expensive one or the most beautiful. It has nothing to do with personal taste, wearability. It looks nice for the Guinness Book of Records and for very wealthy people, who don’t know what to do with their money. This blog post is written because these pearls are not only about ‘big, bigger, the biggest pearl in the world’. But also because of my fascination what mother Earth can produce and how careful we should be not spoiling this planet.
Big, bigger, the biggest sweet water pearl in the world
‘The Sleepy Lion’ is about 300 years old, is 7 cm long/2,75 inches and weighs 120 gram/4.23 ounces. It’s the largest know sweetwater pearl in the world and it was auctioned in The Hague in 2018 for €300.000/$343.000. And the pearl has some resemblance with a lion although some also see the vague image of an elephant in the pearl. These are the figures.
This enormous pearl has also a very interesting history and that history has a value too. A Dutch trader brought the pearl in 1765 from China to Batavia (a Dutch colony at that time). He did something very illegal because all the larger pearls belonged to the Chinese Emperor. We know that the Russian Empress Catherine bought the jewel on an auction.
Exactly how we don’t know but the pearl got into the hands of an Amsterdam jeweler family and it stayed there for more than 100 years. In 1979 people erected the “Amsterdam Pearl Society” to buy the pearl and to examine it. And in 2018 it is sold to a Japanese trader, who will sell it again and probably we have to wait till the next auction before seeing it again.
Big, bigger, the biggest clam pearl in the world
Palawan Island in the Philippines is a real Eldorado for fishermen who sometimes find huge clam pearls in their nets. For a long time ‘the Pearl of Allah’ was the largest pearl found in a clam, but about 10 years ago even a biggers clam pearl was found.
This one was hidden under the bed of the fisherman for about 10 years to bring luck to the family. The measurement of this giant is 34 kilo/ 75 pound, 66 centimeter/26 inches long, and 30 centimeter/12 inches in width. It is valued at €87 million/$100 million.
The price of this clam pearl, that cannot be used for a piece of jewelry, is so high because clam pearl is very rare. Most of the time a pearl grows in a mussel or oyster in sweet water or salt water. A clam is the same kind of animal, but you will hardly find any pearls in a clam. And certainly not these giant pearls.
This pearl is used to attract tourists and is subjected to the city hall of the island. The exact location where the pearl is found and the fisherman who found it will be kept a secret.
Not for wearing
The Sleepy lion pearl nor the biggest clam pearl in the world can be used as a piece of jewelry. They too large and the pearl luster will not be seen on these pearls. And they cannot be cut like you can with a gemstone, that is too large.
But the pearls have exceptional beauty. Certainly when you realize that the clam pearl is created by an animal. And probably it took that animal ages to accomplish his work on that clam pearl. It takes a mussel of oyster about 1-2 years to grow a pearl of 1 centimeter. When you take that fact to start with the clam was 100-120 years busy to grow this giant pearl.
There are a lot of Sweetwater and saltwater pearls, natural and cultured pearls in all sorts of shapes like blister, button, rice pearls, and colors. And those pearls are more suitable for use in a piece of jewelry. When you want to know more about the pearl, have a look in my e-book. You can get it for free when you use this link: https://www.florencejewelshop.com/lp-pearls-2018/
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